Continued from The Five People You Meet in an Anime Con.
Life is like a fistful of batteries — there are always negatives and positives. Okay — maybe someone can come up with a more poetic metaphor, but I am plain out of ideas. Here are five more people you meet in an anime con, and hopefully they are much less annoying than the other five.
The Saikang Warrior
The legendary saikang warrior is a godsend to all cosplayers — he or she is a combination personal assistant, make-up artist, costume repairer, snack dispenser, photographer, and pervert deterrent (possibly a boyfriend/girlfriend, but not always). These selfless people are willing to forgo their own pleasure of browsing through exhibitor booths and pawing the merchandise, just to make sure that your cosplay experience is as fun and as painless as possible.
The word “saikang” is Singaporean in origin, and literally means “shit job”. The word has been appropriated by the Singaporean cosplay community to refer to persons who go to cons to help cosplayers with whatever they need — whether it is to lug a suitcase full of props, buy a drink from a concession stand, or make sure that their wigs are on straight.
Becoming a saikang warrior is usually voluntary, so they must be treated with kindness and consideration. Don’t be a prima donna to your saikang — they are not paid to deal with your brattiness. Don’t assume that because they agreed to saikang for you, they will saikang for your entire cosplay group. Last but not least, ask your saikang if they want to swap places with you at the next con, so they can cosplay while you can be their saikang. Mutual respect is key.
The Avid Cosplayer
… you can figure this one out for yourselves.
The Doujinshi Artist
These super creative fans are especially thick on the ground at artists alleys and exhibition tables (because not many of them can afford to splurge on an actual booth). They sell everything from original comics and art commissions to adult doujinshi (parody comics) based on kids’ anime.
Many also sell to hand-made figures made with polymer clay, graphic t-shirts and statement buttons, and felt hats, bags, and other knick-knacks. Some of the best shopping at cons can be done at their tables and shared booths, as their wares are both affordable and unique.
The Figure Fan
These guys love collecting figures and model kits in all shapes and sizes. They are usually seen at cons manning exhibition booths to show off their collections, and talking shop amongst themselves. Many figure fans are also accomplished diorama creators and toy photographers, and are happy to swap tips and share stories with new collectors.
Some of these fans have a unique skill: they can smell fake merchandise from a mile away. They are able to tell if the good deal you are about to score is real or a rip-off. Just by looking at the items (and occasionally running their hands over them) they can find differences in the resin and paint quality, inconsistencies in the box art, and even recast seams. Very handy to be with if you are a novice collector.
The Normal Guy
These are the regular folks who are just on the verge of letting their freak flag fly. If cons were a game of Pokemon, these guys would be the Bulbasaurs, the Charmanders, and the Squirtles. It’s usually their first time to attend, and they’re super excited to see, hear, and do everything that con has to offer. Sooner or later they will evolve into better (or worse) attendees, depending on who they meet and hang out with.
Protip: everyone started out as a “normal guy” :3